Item 147 - Letter from Duncan Crookes Tovey to R. C. Trevelyan

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Letter from Duncan Crookes Tovey to R. C. Trevelyan


  • 17 July 1907 (Creation)

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Worplesdon Rectory, Guildford. - Don [Donald Tovey] has been 'on one of his very fugitive visits' and read Trevelyan's "Ariadne" ["The Bride of Dionysus"], which gave them so much pleasure that Tovey is writing to tell Trevelyan. Is sure that Trevelyan and Donald's joint work [on the opera] will be 'epochmaking in the history of English history and music'. Only has criticism of the 'most pedantic kind', which he will not bother to write; if the public can stand the Wagnerian legend for the sake of the music, they should really appreciate 'what is truly classical in the best sense'. Encourages Trevelyan to visit, as he promised after they had 'deposited [Henry?] Jackson at the Charing Cross Hotel after that miraculous & bewildering ride in the motor omnibus'. A postscript asks whether [Thomas Babington] Macauley did indeed call Versailles 'a huge heap of littleness'; is sure he did, following [Thomas] Gray's use of a phrase from [Alexander] Pope; invites Trevelyan to see 'how minute [he is] becoming or become'. Also asks Trevelyan whether he is aware that the Arthurian legend exists in Scotland, and that at Meigle in Perthshire 'they show you the tomb of Queen Wander' who was pulled apart by wild horses 'for nae gude that she did', and Wander is Guinevere [see Gray, '"Works" (1825) vol II p. 274].

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